Liberia

Following on its regular monitoring exercise in the township of Monrovia, West Point, a team from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), last week disconnected over 250 homes for illegal connections.

Local media the Daily Observer reported that the Energy Monitoring Section crew joined forces with the Liberia National Police to raid the township.

It is reported that the crew discovered several cables hooked to a high voltage line supplying the township before distributing the stolen power to several homes.

The LEC team disconnected the illegal cable from a lighting pole, which was the main source, before moving from house to house to unstring a tangled mess of wires used for the exercise, media reported.

Costly illegal connections

Residents disconnected said they pay $40 monthly per household for the illegal connections in addition to purchasing wires.

According to the media, head of the Energy Monitoring Section, Owen Richards, stated that West Point is one of the hotspots of electricity theft in the country.

“We have raided this township several times before. This is in continuation of our regular monitoring exercise in West Point,” Richards said.

He continued: “West Point is one of the hotbeds of power theft, so we have made it our duty to regularly move into the community to inspect our lines to ensure that they are not being tempered with.”

Richards assured that the operation in the township will continue until electricity theft becomes unprofitable for the suppliers and end users.

It is reported that power theft is widespread throughout the network areas of the LEC, with power utility reported to have lost over $1 million to electricity theft this year alone.

Hefty fine for offenders

In September, LEC deputy managing director of customer services, Famata Sirleaf, announced that a fine of up to $350 has been set for electricity theft offenders.

Sirleaf highlighted that power theft is a growing trend that is affecting the revenue generation capacity of the power utility.

“We are working to improve governance of the electricity sector, but the activities of unscrupulous individuals are of grave concern. By-passing of our [electricity] meters, third party connections and meter tempering are on an alarming increase,” she said.

 

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